Syracuse finally got what had been missing on the season until Tuesday night: a true laugher of a game, as they led by as many as 42 points in a 95-66 manhandling of Oakland. The Orange (5-4) outscored the Golden Grizzlies (2-9), 25-4, in the last ten-and-a-half minutes of the first half, including posting the last 18 points of the session to blow the game open.
SU shot 58.3 percent from the field from the game, a mark that was marred by the last seven attempts of the game missing the mark after walk-ons entered the fray. Jesse Edwards and Joe Girard III led the way with 18 points in 23 minutes apiece. Edwards made all nine of his field goal attempts in the game while Girard was 7-of-10, including four three-pointers, while handing out six assists. Maliq Brown (12 points on 6-of-7 shooting), Symir Torrence (12 points on 5-of-6 shooting), and Judah Mintz (ten points) were also in double figures.
While Oakland struggled on offense, shooting just 37.5 percent from the field and 20 percent from behind the arc, Trey Townsend had a monstrous game, posting 29 points and 13 rebounds. Jalen Moore added a dozen points while Keaton Hervey and Rocket Watts each had eight.
A little over five minutes into the game, the Golden Grizzlies ran off seven straight points to grab a 15-13 lead. The next seven baskets in the game caused lead changes, but the last of those was a Benny Williams jumper that started a run of seven straight points for Syracuse.
Oakland responded with a foul shot and a lay-up to get within three, but the Orange ripped off 18 straight points in the final 5:07 of the opening half to blow the game open. Girard had eight points in the flurry, including back-to-back threes that gave SU their first double-digit lead of the game. Mintz capped the burst by beating the clock with a fast break lay-up for a 45-24 halftime lead.
Edwards had six points in an 11-2 flurry in the second half’s opening three minutes to give Syracuse a 58-29 lead. Following an Orange foul seconds later, both Edwards and Girard left the game for the night with 17:03 to play.
The remainder of the game featured SU pulling away until the guests scored 15 of the last 17 points.